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Chicken Shoot Package Art
Frontline Studios
DSI Games

Chicken Shoot

Every week, Dojo staffer Paul Starke writes Flash Point, a wonderful feature that highlights online games that play well on the Wii web browser. The Internet is packed with talented designers, some making games for profit, others for a hobby. Most are free, many are of the highest quality, quite a few are a addictive, and all of them put Chicken Shoot to shame.


Chicken Shoot, which began as an Internet Flash game, uses what can be described as a pre-rendered background with animated characters. Essentially, it's a cute still drawing with chickens flying around. Few backdrops exist in Chicken Shoot, and most do little more than move trees from side to side or add in a bridge or mountain. They do nothing to add to the strategy, if a game like Chicken Shoot requires strategy. The chickens are pixilated, inexcusable for a game that uses so little of the DS hardware. The horrible egg catching minigame is worse. The eggs just disappear into the buckets, carried by a farmer with two mirrored animations that even a novice Flash animator would condemn.


The game box advertises "great comic sound effects and catchy original songs." Really? Chicken Shoot has no more than five sound effects -- the shotgun blasts and the death cries of wounded chickens. The music is a repetitive, 10-second loop that can thankfully be disabled. The volume slider on the DS is a better option. It turns off all the sound.


Chickens fly left and right, and players use the buttons or D-pad to fire while sliding the stylus along the touch screen to move the view. That's about it, over and over, again and again. Simple lightgun-inspired shooters have a lasting appeal, but Chicken Shoot strips the fun out of it. What made old games like Duck Hunt and Hogan's Alley interesting was the need to aim and fire. Even the late 90s wave of arcade shooters like House of the Dead and Area 51 add a layer of strategy and level of atmosphere. At least the Wii version needs a little skill with Remote aiming, but this Chicken Shoot has an enjoyment level close to zero.

The different weapons do have different effects, but they have no visual differences. Right-handed players will have difficulty seeing the weapon icon and ammunition level through their palms, and the weak sound effects do little to help. The instructions say an option flips the screens, putting the action on the bottom and the stats on the top, but it doesn't actually exist.

Still, gameplay flaws aside, it just isn't a lot of game. Three difficulty modes move the chickens faster, and a second game mode simply changes the timing procedure. An egg catching minigame is nothing more than a brief diversion. One 30-minute sitting exhausts all Chicken Shoot has to offer, and it's not a fun 30 minutes. It's one minigame passed off as a standalone title for the price of a newly released DVD.


Cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes provide more boring chicken-shooting action. But sharing the experience with a friend is multi-card only. That means Chicken Shoot DS multiplayer costs $40, $10 more than the Wii version, and $5 more than a ton of better DS fare.


Kids are smart nowadays, certainly smarter than their parents and especially smarter when it comes to video games. So mom, dad, do not try to pass this off to the kids. The DS has an abundance of software far exceeding the quality of Chicken Shoot that is great for youngsters. In fact, the tone of Chicken Shoot is slightly sinister and not necessarily appropriate for young children -- which is why it received an E 10+ rating. It's a poor port of a poor Flash game at an unreasonable price. Quite possibly the worst handheld video game ever.

final score 1.0/10

Staff Avatar Dave Magliano
Staff Profile | Email
"Tiger uppercut!!"

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